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Undergraduate Catalog

General Education Requirements

By introducing students to different fields of study and different methods of determining knowledge, General Education provides a foundation for the liberal education that New Paltz offers. GE is designed to encourage a global perspective as well as an understanding of the traditions and complexities of a democratic society. The program emphasizes four areas of knowledge that characterize a broadly educated person, and it encompasses the State University of New York's system-wide general education requirements. A defining feature of New Paltz GE is its attention to developing students' capacities to think critically while providing the breadth and depth of knowledge that will allow them to become active citizens and productive members of society.

General Education at New Paltz provides both discipline-based and interdisciplinary opportunities for advancing knowledge, balancing learning experiences in these broad areas:

Arts & Humanities: Appreciation for artistic, literary and philosophical endeavors

  • Basic Communication (one course; a prerequisite course may be required based on placement level)
  • Humanities (one course)
  • The Arts (one course)

Scientific Investigations: Knowledge of the natural and social sciences as well as mathematical ideas and models

  • Mathematics (one course)
  • Natural Sciences (one lab science course or two non-lab science courses)
  • Social Sciences (one course)

The United States & its Traditions: Knowledge of political, economic and social process in the US, the influence of Western tradition and the multicultural heritages that influence the US

  • United States Studies (one course)
  • Western Civilization (one course)

Global Perspectives: Understanding of the wide range of world civilizations and cultures and appreciation for cultural and individual differences

  • World Civilizations & Cultures (one course)
  • Foreign Language (one or two courses, depending on placement)


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